#1 Reason Bed Bug Heat Treatments Fail?

❌There isn't just one mistake or event that can cause a treatment for to fail. Rather it's normally 2-3 occurrences together, that can cause heat treatments to come up short of completely eliminating a bed bug infestation, on a property. That being said, there is one persistent issue that seems to repeat itself every so often. If live bed bugs are found post heat , you can bet that incomplete prepped items will probably be the major reason that allowed bed bug activity to return.

Bed bug heat treatment service outside view. Oklahoma.
service outside view. Oklahoma.

Incomplete Prep Work…

Its extremely easy to blame a company or individual(s) who have serviced with heat remediation on a property for any new bed bug activity that may pop up post or after a treatment. The truth is that in most cases the company or individual performing the services are not to blame for failure. In most cases it's actually incorrectly prepped items, done by the home owner. About 96% of clients that report new bed bug activity post treatment, ends up being incompletely prepped items that cause the return of the unwanted guests. That's an overwhelming statistic. Knowing this statistic should encourage even more vigilance to make sure prep work is done correctly the 1st time.

Understanding Prep 101…

A client will use large 55 gallon or larger construction trash bags to store items that need taken out of the home for the heat treatment. The trash bags or container if wished must be completely air tight as possible. Containers must have some type of a seal to make them air tight. There are basically two different types of items that will go into trash bags or containers then be sealed off air tight.

  1. All Fabrics will be removed through out the residence.
  2. Things that can melt or explode from specific rooms will be removed.

Both types are sealed off exactly the same way. The difference between the two types of trash bags done up, lies in how the items inside of the bag are treated. This is explained below.

-All fabrics in the home will go into a trash bag 1st then be put through a dryer for no less than 1 hour before they can be brought back inside a home. Any washing would be done after running fabrics through the dryer 1st. Fabrics will include all bedding, towels and clothing in the home. All used trash bags should be immediately thrown away outside the home after putting fabrics into the dryer 1st.

-Nic nacs, hard items, things that can melt/explode or items will go into a trash bag and be sealed off with what's called a No Pest Strip inside of the trash bag. Hot Shot No Pest Strips are pictured below. No Pest Strips and their eggs by working through the air inside of the prepped trash bags that have been sealed off. These items will be removed from dressers & night stands within the room being treated. Sharp items may be sat into any box then add a trash bag over the box and seal it off with a No Pest Strip inside. Be sure to leave lids unsealed or off any boxes used inside of trash bags. It is very important to remember to leave the lid off a box when put inside of a trash bag.

Picture of Hot Shot No Pest Strip package.
Picture of Hot Shot No Pest Strip package.

All prepped bags or containers will be stored outside of the residence being heat treated. This is always the case no matter what type bed bug treatment is being performed. If a residence has a garage or shed the prepped items are normally stored in them. If a residence has a car port or covered porch some clients store their prep in these areas. If there is no area to store the prepped items in at a residence then the client will rent a u-haul or shipping container until after the heat treatment is finished. If that's not an option, items can be put outside anywhere for the day of the treatment. If weather is bad or it's wet outside tarps can be used to cover the prepped trash bags. Some clients have even used tents to store their prepped items in the past.

Correctly taped, prepped and sealed trash bag for bed bug heat treatment. If taped it must be air tight.
Correctly taped, prepped and sealed trash bag for bed bug heat treatment. If tied it must be air tight.

See Our List For How To Prepare For A Bed Bug Heat and Chemical Treatment

Examples Of Incomplete Prep…

  • Using thin trash bags that rip easily to seal off all prepped items inside of them.
  • Not sealing off prepped items in bag or container that is air tight.
  • Not tying, tapeing or sealing off bags or containers with all prepped items inside of them.
  • Forgetting to add the required No Pest Strip to bags or containers with all prepped items inside of them.
  • Not using bags or containers for items that should be prepped and sealed off.
  • Letting a plastic bag be put inside of another bag or container. Open or not open does not matter. This is one mistake seen the most by our bed bug specialists.
  • Putting fabrics in garage, laundry room or anywhere not in a sealed off trash bag.
  • Not tapeing up holes accidentally made in trash bags or containers.
  • Using containers without making sure they're completely air tight.
  • Putting a trash bag over a container without removing the lid before sealing off the trash bag.
  • Putting a trash bag over a cardboard box without making sure the lid flaps are not opened.
  • Not waiting the full 14 days required to seal off hard item trash bags with No Pest Strips.
  • Getting lazy and not finishing prep. Instead throwing a big pile of the items that should be prepped in a garage or shed I prepped. Then saying they'll do it after we complete our heat treatment for bed bugs. This just spreads your bed bugs to those areas that normally wouldn't need to be treated for bed bugs.
  • Trying to tape up card board boxes air tight with tape.
  • Trying to tape off plastic containers that are not air tight.
  • Forgetting to run their fabrics sealed off in trash bags through a dryer 1st for no less than 1 hour. Do not wash first, always dry first. Then wash and dry if needed.
Correctly stored, prepped and sealed trash bags for bed bug heat treatment.
Correctly stored, prepped and sealed trash bags for bed bug heat treatment.


Like it was stated before, there can be many varied reasons for failing a bed bug heat treatment. There always seems to be one reason that stands ahead of the rest, human error. People are the weak link in a bed bug treatment. Whether it's laziness and not finishing required prep work or just plain forgetting to do something that was important. Even the company or individual doing the treatment failing. Mistakes made when preparing for a heat bed bug treatment service can always be repaired through our proven processes. It's just much easier to not have to do a second treatment though. Even with thousands of bed bug heat treatments under our belt and walking our clients literally through our whole heat treatment process while holding their hand. There are still going to be mistakes made by our clientele. Simply because they are human beings. We do not punish our customers for not doing their prep work correctly or bringing new bed bug activity back into their home. Instead, we just come back for free and take care is the problem. Our warranty covers new & old bed bug activity. We don't care where bed bugs may have returned from, we just want to eliminate the problem, once and for all. Do not expect this from any other company doing for bed bugs. Most other pest control companies will tell their customers that the home owner brought the bed bugs back in and it's not the companies problem now. Sure they'll perform services for them again, but it'll cost some cash all over again.

Most of our heat treatments are one and done heat bed bug treatments. That means we only need one appointment to wipe out every last bed bug and their eggs in one day. If it is required that we must return to a residence, more than 98% of the time we are able to come in and kill the new bed bug activity with just alone. No prep work has to be done again when returning with chemical only, unless requested by our bed bug specialists. We try to make our clients lives easier when we can.

As long as, our prep list is followed to the best of ones ability and questions are not afraid to be asked when there is confusion, there is not a home or business that we cannot take control of. Our heat bed bug treatment services are full proof and we have years of customer reviews to back it up.

Link to Dead Bug Walkin LLC google reviews
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Contact Info…

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Dead Bug Walkin LLC Bed Bug Heat Treatment Specialists Pest Control

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